UDF ripped apart in Kerala

Updated on May 14, 2004 05:42 PM IST

The ruling UDF in Kerala received a severe drubbing, yielding 18 of the 20 seats to LDF and one to NDA. The humiliation for the Antony Govt was complete when 'patch-up candidate' K Muraleedharan was defeated.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Thiruvananthapuram

Faced with a powerful anti-incumbency mood and widespread revulsion at the Congress infighting, the ruling United Democratic Front in Kerala on Thursday received a severe drubbing at the hustings, yielding 18 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats to CPI-M-led LDF and one to NDA.

While the Congress drew a blank for the first time in the state's electoral history, a minor consolation for the ruling front was IUML leader E Ahmed's victory in Ponnani seat.

The humiliation for the three-year-old AK Antony Government was complete when power minister K Muraleedharan was humbled by CPI(M) candidate AC Moideen in Wadakkancherry assembly by-poll, making his resignation imminent. The ministerial position was awarded to him as part of a patch-up formula between Antony and his bete noire K Karunakaran.

In a total reversal of the 2001 assembly poll when UDF swept to power winning 99 of 140 seats, the front failed to hold on in any part of the state, reflecting serious erosion of its cross-regional and multi-community support base.

Cashing in on the popular mood, the CPI-M made fierce inroads into UDF strongholds breaking even the myth that Indian Union Muslim League is unbeatable in its citadel Manjeri, where CPI-M's TK Hamsa trounced the League contestant KPA Majeed.

While Kerala once again proved a barren land for the lotus to bloom, the NDA opened its account with the victory of IFDP's PC Thomas in Muvvattupuzha.

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